|AFSCME Council 18|
962 Stories You'll Have to Read if you Want to Understand the NM Crisis in Corrections
SCROLL down to read comments from NM Corrections Officers and the families they rarely see...
New Mexico's State Corrections system is teetering on the edge of crisis. Corrections employees need decisive action NOW from the Governor and Legislature to foster a safer, well-run system. It's mission critical for our state government.
To: Governor Martinez Administration and NM Legislature
Corrections Officers have one of the toughest jobs out there, and scientific studies back up that fact.
The NM Corrections system currently languishes under severe vacancy levels, with several facilities operating with 40% vacancy rates. A result, Corrections Officers are working maximum level (72) hours of mandatory overtime, weekly, at some facilities. This work schedule prevents officers from having adequate time for recovery, self care, or their families.
Resulting fatigue, stress, and break-down of well-being, commonly referred to as “corrections fatigue” is a major factor increasing the dangers of accidents or incidents at work.
NM Corrections Officer pay remains uncompetitive and below the median income level for corrections officers (nationally and regionally). Low pay is a major factor preventing the department from recruiting and retaining men and women into the career. The domino effects created by heavy workloads and high vacancies are undermining the department’s mission.
Through its Labor Management Committee, the New Mexico Corrections Department and AFSCME have recognize all these life and death realities and agreed that addressing them need to be an urgent priority.
AFSCME strongly calls upon Governor Martinez, her administration, and the NM Legislature to tackle the issue of corrections fatigue by working with the union, and one another to develop and implement concrete strategies and solutions addressing the crisis.
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